By Nicole Loscavio (This article appeared in the 2013-14 Winter issue of the Cal Sports Quarterly)
Spectemur Agendo. It’s a Latin phrase with the English translation: “to be known by your deeds.”
It’s the motto Cal rugby head coach Jack Clark tries to instill in his players, so much so that he has it posted above the doorway to the great room at the Doc Hudson Fieldhouse. Clark believes that it’s less about having an explanation for everything, and more about what you’re actually able to get done.
Spencer Morris, according to Clark, is the epitome of being known by one’s deeds. The junior business administration major from Vancouver, British Colombia, works hard on the rugby field and in the classroom, and his commitment hasn’t gone unnoticed. Morris currently has the highest GPA among all Cal student-athletes with a 3.984 overall. That figure includes a perfect 4.0 in his seven prerequisite courses for the Haas School of Business.
“It’s pretty rare to juggle the demands of being a varsity athlete and do as well academically as he does,” shared coach Tom Billups. “Spencer is reaching his potential in an athletic way and I think that goes hand in hand with what he’s doing in the classroom.”
Clark added that pound for pound, Morris one of the fittest guys on the team. “Similar to his academic achievements, that’s not easy to be our fittest, strongest guy,” he said.
A center and fullback on the rugby pitch, Morris first learned to balance school work with the demands of a competitive sport in high school, when downhill Alpine skiing was his main athletic endeavor. He was on the BC ski team for three years during high school and missed nearly 70 days of classes a year due to the intense travel schedule. Not only did Morris come out of that experience with a few great stories – like getting to forerun the downhill alpine ski course at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver – but he was also able to develop the time management and organizational skills that have allowed him to thrive here in Berkeley.
“Spencer exemplifies the ideal balance between student and athlete,” said Nick McNeil, an academic advisor in the Athletic Study Center. “Over the last two years, I feel privileged to be able to work with a student who puts forth this much effort into the classroom, with his tutors, and on Witter Rugby Field.”
Morris spent last summer interning with PricewaterhouseCoopers, as a summer associate in the audit/assurance group, and he is considering an opportunity to join PwC again next summer. “As for the next two years, I want to explore more classes in Haas, and hopefully do well in them,” Morris said. “I’ll try to branch out and gain connections, hopefully figure out what I want to do when my time at Cal is done.”
On Witter Rugby Field, Morris also hopes to assume more of a leadership role as an upperclassman, and wants to positively contribute to the team in any way that he can. “We challenge every young man on our squad to put the team before themselves, and that’s easy to say and hard to do,” Billups stated. “There have been countless examples during Spencer’s career here where he’s been able to do that.”
Clark summarized Spencer Morris with one word: “excellent.”
Morris understands the true sentiment behind “Spectemur Agendo,” and his academic rigor exemplifies it. He’s not just talking about it, he’s doing it.